Brownfields Legislation Introduced to Congress by NJ Senator

Posted on March 27th, 2013

The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act may lead to more brownfields redevelopment in New Jersey and other states.

Earlier this month, a
bi-partisan group comprised of Senators Lautenberg (D-NJ), Crapo (R-ID), Udall
(D-NM) and Inhofe (R-OK) introduced the BUILD act of 2013 to reauthorize the
EPA’s brownfields program. The act seeks to
improve the program by increased funding and streamlined processes.

One of the most important
elements of the BUILD Act is the expansion of eligibility for grants.
Currently, only non-profits are eligible. Under the BUILD Act, eligibility
would be extended to limited partnerships, some limited liability corporations
and qualified community development entities. 

Funding limits and uses
have also been increased. The current cap of $200,000 per site would be
increased to $500,000 per site. In certain circumstances, the EPA could waive
this limit and award grants of up to $650,000. In addition, grant recipients
would no longer be prohibited from using funds for administrative costs. Up to
8% of grant monies could be used for this purpose.

will no longer be limited to single sites. The act will allow for multipurpose
grants of up to $950,000 to be awarded. Funds can be used for remediation,
assessment, planning, characterization or inventory at multiple sites in an
area as long as it is used within three years. This is a significant benefit
for many applicants as currently multiple grants may be needed to cover the
different phases of a project, saving both administrative costs and time.

Certain types of brownfields remediation will be encouraged by
parameters of the BUILD Act. The EPA would give special consideration to
waterfront brownfields sites, defined as being
located next to a body of water or floodplain. It would also be required
prioritize grant requests from “small communities, Indian tribes, rural areas,
or low-income areas with a population of not more than 15,000.” In order to
facilitate and incent clean energy projects, special grants up to $500,000
would be awarded to those that have solar, wind or geothermal components.

The benefits of the BUILD
Act extend to local and state governments as well. To encourage development of
properties purchased before the enactment of the Small Business Liability
Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act in
2002, requirements are being relaxed. Local governments will be eligible for
site assessment grants even if they don’t qualify for the bona fide prospective
purchaser exemption. State governments that have spent more than 50% of their
funding in the previous year on site assessment and remediation also qualify
for additional grant money.

The intent of the BUILD Act
is to facilitate brownfields development by
increasing funding and making it more widely and easily available and will have
significant impact on New Jersey and beyond as noted by Senator Lautenberg, “The continued revitalization and
clean-up of abandoned properties will create communities where businesses
prosper, jobs are created, and families are protected from dangerous chemicals.
In New Jersey we have much to gain from turning old brownfields into new vibrant hubs to grow
businesses and enhance communities, and I’ll keep working to pass this
important redevelopment initiative.” 

JMS assists in the assessment, cleanup and
restoration of brownfields properties to productive use. We also help clients
identify grants, loans and cost recovery programs available for brownfield
redevelopment. Speaking of a loan, do you know that you can merge all your credit into a single, lower monthly repayment? If this interests you, see this site to learn more. Read more about our brownfields redevelopment services here.

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